The Odd Couple—Season 2

odd couple season 2 dvd cover episode guide
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good cast

Typical sitcom tropes but some before they were complete cliches

odd couple season 2 episode guide list

Stop by Oscar and Felix’s place for a bite

Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman) has to have a lot of self-control.  He’s stuck with Felix Unger (Tony Randall) as his roommate, and Felix, though he has good intentions, likes to stick his nose in other people’s business.  Be it relationships, health, or overstepping his bounds in other areas of Oscar’s life, Felix likes things a certain way…but Oscar likes things in disarray.  Together Felix and Oscar muddle through life in the big city, and each day hope they won’t kill each other.

The Odd Couple—Season 2 is an American sitcom based on the 1965 Neil Simon play.  Season 2 of the series aired from September 17, 1971 to March 3, 1972 on ABC on Fridays.  The season received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series (Klugman and Randall) and Outstanding Series—Comedy.

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Felix and football don’t mix

Growing up, I knew The Odd Couple TV show instead of the movie.  It was heavy in reruns, and I always found Oscar funny as a kid (a particular joke I always liked when Felix tried to talk to him on the bed and he’d end up talking to his feet, empty bed, etc.).  Watching The Odd Couple now has the nostalgia factor, but it also is a bit odd in that it is a weirdly balanced show.

The idea of the show is that Oscar’s slob behavior is bad and gross, and Felix’s neat-freak anal behavior is annoying…but it largely feels that Felix is the problem in most of the series.  While occasionally Oscar’s nature gets him in trouble, most of the storylines revolve around Felix’s interference causing a big problem for Oscar (including leading to the breakup of Oscar’s marriage).  Despite this, you are supposed to see Felix as a sympathetic character and like him…but frankly, I want to kill him just as badly as Oscar much of the time.

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A happy camper

The series also has that odd, tricky “couple” line to play with.  The show works to make it very obvious that Oscar and Felix aren’t gay, but they still have this weird, married relationship.  Felix as the homemaker has Oscar’s meals ready for him when he arrives, worries about his health, and spends most of his time trying to “help” Oscar…the stories could easily substitute Felix and Oscar for Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.  It was an issue when the series was out that they didn’t want Oscar and Felix to be perceived as a real couple.

With the generic substitution factor, The Odd Couple has episodes filled with classic sitcom tropes.  The caveat to that is that not all the tropes were tropes when the show was airing (just some of them).  Things like psychic powers, sleepwalking, people trapped on ledges, hospital visits, and home invasions are rather typical in sitcoms (and were done in things like I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners), but the 1970s and 1980s sitcoms really drove a lot of these stories into the ground.  The stories still work, but it often seems like you’ve seen every episode of The Odd Couple even if you haven’t.

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Don’t yell at Laverne!?!?!

The show is saved by Klugman and Randall who have already fully committed to the characters.  In interviews, it feels like there is a lot of Randall and Klugman in these characters and that might help make the characters feel real.  In addition, you get the typical 1970s guest-stars in small roles like opera singer Richard Fredricks, host David Steinberg, Willie Ames (as Felix’s son), Brett Somers (Klugman’s real wife as his ex-wife Blanche), the voice of Peanuts’ Lucy Pamelyn Ferdin (as Felix’s daughter), Pat Morita, James Van Patten, The Love Boat doctor Bernie Kopell, Joan Van Ark , Jack Soo of Barney Miller, and Penny Marshall makes her first appearance as Oscar’s secretary Myrna in “You Saved My Life”.

The Odd Couple is still a fun show with a solid formula that probably will never age.  What does age is some off-color remarks (especially toward Asians) in a few episodes which wasn’t unusual at the time…they do come off a bit jarring, but they are small and infrequent.  The show was also never met to be watched in a binge mode (a great example of this is Felix’s daughter Edna who celebrates her 10th birthday in one episode and a few episodes later she’s 12).  For the most part, the show is easy and light fun that kids might even still enjoy.  Though even you kids might have murder in their eyes when Felix starts honking and ruining Oscar’s life over and over again.

The Odd Couple—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Natural Childbirth”

2.1       Natural Childbirth Airdate:  09/17/71

Oscar’s niece Martha (Hilary Thompson) comes to Oscar (Jack Klugman) expecting a child, she reveals she wants to have the baby in a hotel in the Bronx.  While Felix (Tony Randall) and Oscar argue about Martha’s decision, Martha goes missing.

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“Felix’s Wife’s Boyfriend”

2.2       Felix’s Wife’s Boyfriend Airdate:  09/24/71

When Felix is out of town, Oscar and Nancy (Joan Hotchkis) hook Nancy’s brother Raymond (Fred Beir) up with Felix’s ex-wife Gloria (Janis Hansen)…unfortunately, Felix can’t accept the situation when he returns home early.

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“Hospital Mates”

2.3       Hospital Mates Airdate:  10/01/71

Felix is afraid to get nose surgery, but Oscar finds himself rooming with Felix when Oscar severs his Achilles tendon.

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“Sleepwalker”

2.4       Sleepwalker Airdate:  10/08/71

Oscar has had it with Felix.  When Nancy suggests that Oscar try to accept Felix’s erratic behavior.  Oscar starts attacking Felix in his sleep, and Felix questions what to do about it.

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“A Grave for Felix”

2.5       A Grave for Felix Airdate:  10/15/71

Felix has picked out his perfect grave plot.  When Oscar uses his deposit to gamble, Felix worries his eternal rest has been ruined.

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“Murray the Fink”

2.6       Murray the Fink Airdate:  10/29/71

When Murray (Al Molinaro) arrests the gambling group to prove a point that he can be a good officer, Oscar refuses to go along with the plan…leading Felix to prove Murray innocent.

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“Does Your Mother Know You’re Out, Rigoletto?”

2.7       Does Your Mother Know You’re Out, Rigoletto? Airdate:  11/05/71

When Oscar accidentally insults Felix’s hired opera singer, he makes good by bringing in his friend Richard Fredricks for the part.  Unfortunately an accident on the baseball field has Oscar forced to stand in for Fredricks.

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“Fat Farm”

2.8       Fat Farm Airdate:  11/12/71

Felix challenges Oscar to lose some weight, and it means a trip to a fat farm for the pair.

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“The Odd Couple Meet Their Host”

2.9       The Odd Couple Meet Their Host Airdate:  11/19/71

David Steinberg invites Oscar to be on his talk show and at Felix’s encouragement, Oscar does…with Felix as the butt of his jokes.  When Felix gets a chance at revenge, the pressure of live TV might be too much.

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“Win One for Felix”

2.10     Win One for Felix Airdate:  12/03/71

Felix wants to coach his son Leonard (Willie Ames) and his football team which Oscar has been managing.  Unfortunately, Felix’s perception of football isn’t what the kids want.

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“Being Divorced Is Never Having to Say I Do”

2.11     Being Divorced Is Never Having to Say I Do Airdate:  12/10/71

Oscar’s wife Blanche (Brett Somers) has decided to get married again, but Felix’s concern that Blanche isn’t getting married out of love threatens to ruin the wedding.

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“Surprise! Surprise!”

2.12     Surprise! Surprise! Airdate:  12/17/71

Felix’s daughter Edna (Pamelyn Ferdin) is turning ten, and Felix finds Oscar’s poker party could ruin the entire event.

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“Felix, the Calypso Singer”

2.13     Felix, the Calypso Singer Airdate:  12/24/71

Oscar and his girlfriend Nancy (Joan Hotchkis) have a romantic vacation planned in the Caribbean, but an emergency surgery means Nancy can’t go.  Convincing Felix to join the trip, Oscar has it all planned…until Nancy reveals she’s able to come.

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“And Leave the Greyhound to Us?”

2.14     And Leave the Greyhound to Us? Airdate:  12/31/71

Oscar wins a greyhound named Golden Earrings in a card game from a stranger (Phil Leeds), but when Felix claims half of Golden Earrings, Oscar’s dreams of competition are dashed.

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“Security Arms”

2.15     Security Arms Airdate:  01/07/72

An invasive robbery has left Felix shaken and threatening to move out.  When Felix convinces Oscar to move into a secure new apartment, security has its costs.

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“Speak for Yourself”

2.16     Speak for Yourself Airdate:  01/14/72

Oscar tells Murray about how he ended up proposing to Gloria for Felix.

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“You Saved My Life”

2.17     You Saved My Life Airdate:  01/21/72

When Felix almost falls out the window, Oscar finds himself saddled with an admirer that won’t leave him alone.  Recruiting his secretary Myrna (Penny Marshall) to help him, Felix won’t leave Oscar alone…and Oscar might have to make him return the favor.

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“Where’s Grandpa”

2.18     Where’s Grandpa? Airdate:  01/28/72

Felix is out of town, but Oscar gets word that his grandfather and grandmother have broken up.  With Grandpa Unger staying with him, Oscar tries to find a way to get rid of his new roommate.

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“Partners Investment”

2.19     Partner’s Investment Airdate:  02/04/72

Felix has been slipping money out of Oscar’s room for years in order to invest it for him…now it pays off in the form of a Japanese restaurant.  Unfortunately, Felix doesn’t understand the term “silent partner”.

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“Good, Bad Boy”

2.20     Good, Bad Boy Airdate:  02/11/72

Felix has convinced Oscar to mentor a young, troubled teen named Mike (James Van Patten) and everything is going fine until Mike asks Felix’s daughter Edna to a dance.

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“A Night to Dismember”

2.21     A Night to Dismember Airdate:  02/18/72

Felix has brought Oscar and his ex-wife Blanche together to celebrate the anniversary of their divorce…and all three remember the New Year’s Eve that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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“Oscar’s Promotion”

2.22     Oscar’s Promotion Airdate:  02/25/72

Oscar has a big shot to move up with his column and covering the wrestling match involving a Chinese wrestler Chuk Mai Chin (Jack Soo) is the first step.  When Oscar needs a photographer, Felix steps in, but Felix has opinions on Chuk Mai Chin’s health.

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“Psychic Shmychic”

2.23     Psychic, Shmychic Airdate:  03/03/72

Felix is sick and seems to demonstrate psychic powers as a result.  When Felix sees Oscar being killed at an awards ceremony, he sets out to prevent it from happening.

Related Links:

The Odd Couple—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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